Selling doesn’t need to be hard. In fact, it can be quite simple and fun – when you realize the truth.
Hey, I’m guilty of over-complicating my processes too!
I used to believe that sales was this mystical art form that people were born to do. It’s not true. Anyone can sell, as long as they understand fundamentally what they are doing and why they are doing it. And that’s helping customers solve problems. Further to that, great salespeople help customers understand their problems. They resist the urge to solve, and work on gaining trust and giving value first.
Today’s post is actually lesson 6 in my FREE 7 Day Sales bootcamp series. Tons of awesome value – check it out.
In the last lessons we looked at how to incorporate story telling into your conversations and how to get people to make decisions emotionally. Today, we are filling in the other half, which is all about how to make sure that what you say is believable.
This lesson is going to be focused on how you position yourself as the go-to expert in your field. And I hope it will shift your thinking about your role in the sales universe. Selling made easy by working on YOU…
(Again, the audio is available here or by clicking the play button below)
If I was to ask you right now how your customers describe what you do, what do you think they would say?
If you can’t answer that immediately, or you would get a variety of different answers, you need to work on your brand. I’m not talking about your company brand, but what YOU stand for. What are you KNOWN for?
This is a gut check question I ask myself quite often to ensure my brand is on point.
The five buying decisions
People make decisions in a predictable way. There are five major buying decisions and they go like this:
- YOU. They buy you as the salesperson. Are you trustworthy? Do you know your stuff? Do you provide real value in your conversations? Are you sought-after? And so on…They want to know if they want to be in business with YOU. They buy your ability to build rapport, ask great questions (see the post on SPIN Selling below), and demonstrate understanding of their challenges (remember paraphrasing fro the last lesson).
- YOUR COMPANY. Once you have sold them on you, the buyer wants to know that if you got hit by a bus, would your company still deliver? Is the company the type of company they want to be associated with? What is the track record? Have you done this before? Do you have proof? What kind of results are typical? Are you shrinking, growing, or stationary?
- PRODUCT. The third buying decision is about your product or solution. Once they feel that you and your company are the real deal, they want to know what it is and how much. However, aren’t those usually the first two questions they ask? Again, remember that yesterday we discussed that giving the price too early can actually do you damage. I’m not saying to hide your offer from people, just try and take control of the conversation early, ask great questions, share insights, and provide value. Your real goal is to help your buyers see what it would be like to work with you before you get into details. Once it is the right time to present the product, it’s important you make it clear exactly how your product will work for them. Again, they need to see themselves owning what you offer.
- PRICE. The most common objection is price, right? Well not exactly. I like to think that price is only an objection in the seller’s mind. Your goal is not to try and justify the cost of the purchase, but rather to increase the perceived value of what they get. When we went through the lesson on selling in stages, I explained the concept of the great value exchange. The way you craft the offer, the results, and the proof, all justify the price. Buyers are willing to spend up to 15% more on a competitive product if they feel there is a perceived value. Do you recall the two words that make me die inside? Discounting and chasing. When you discount your offer, you actually don’t make it more attractive.
- TIME. Once they see the value in the overall purchase, it all comes down to how urgent the problem is that they need to solve. If you have done a great job, they will be chomping at the bit to get started with ownership. “If this was a year from now, and you didn’t make these changes, how would you feel?” or “If you made these changes, what would your business look like in a year?” There are a number of ways you can create urgency and reduce the resistance to the today purchase which I cover in more detail in my training. You can offer payment incentive plans, trial periods, or risk reversal, to name a few. What do you do that makes your buyers feel like they MUST have it today?
What is your WHY?
One of my favorite TED Talks was by Simon Sinek who wrote “Start with Why.” In it, he discussed the concept of the golden circle and the power of your why.
If you remember in lesson 2, I talked about how to answer the question, “What do you do?” Instead of telling them what, tell the why. This is harder than it seems. I see many people go too far to either side of the spectrum, so be careful.
One of the first things I work my clients through is how their brand is perceived. If you are not 100% sure how to answer the “What do you do?” question or are totally confident that others know how to refer you, star there. Ask people if they know what you do. Refine your language until they totally get it.
Your why is essentially the stuff that get’s you totally excited about when you are working with your customers. Maybe it’s when they solve a problem, they finish a course, they get that great relationship, or they have a website designed that makes them feel great about their own business.
This is a fun activity to work through, but the litmus test is whether or not someone gets excited enough to move to the next circle and says, “Oh that’s cool, HOW do you do that?”
It’s all about these small tweaks in your language and you should be continually working on this to get people more clear on what you do and how you do it. If they are excited about your WHY and HOW, it won’t matter WHAT your title or business is, they will simply want to work with you.
Your Personal Brand
This is already a long post, so I am going to just give you a link to where you can get my free 62 page ebook on personal branding.
Personal branding is a powerful tool, my friend.
Trust and credibility is everything
How capable do your customers think you are? Are you someone who has earned the right to have deeper, more insightful conversations with your buyers?
We’ve covered quite a bit in this program, and one key point I want to reiterate is that your customers are about 60% of the way through the buying process before they engage with a seller.
Are you someone that your customers reach out to when they need a pre-determined solution or when they want help understanding the underlying problems?
This is a BIG distinction…
How well are you gaining trust from your customers? How willing are they to come to you first? Building trust takes time and effort. Are you committed to investing in your relationships and network? I have a more in depth post on building trust HERE but here are the 6 main reasons why you should build trust in selling:
- Trust helps you access people
- Trust gets you taken seriously
- Trust allows you to dig deeper
- Trust opens a gateway for the best solutions
- Trust eliminates the pitch
- Trust turns challenges and difficult conversations into opportunities
As you’ve heard me say:
Sales Heroes are the ones who do the hard work to make selling look easy.
Trust is a major key to making it all so much easier. And it actually makes selling EASY.
Do you provide powerful insights?
Again, I have an awesome post specifically geared towards insights HERE.
Have you taken time to map out the insights you have that can help your customer see deeper into their challenges? Are you just another information provider, or do you have at least one MAJOR take-away you can give your customers?
Are you sought after because of your ability to see around corners, help people avoid landmines, and outline hidden opportunities? Have a look at the image below. When I do workshops on insights, I work with groups on how to use hypnotic language starting from the outside circle (broad scope) to help their customers see the bigger picture.
For example, I sometimes open my presentations with, “How many of you are here because you need more STUFF to do?”
That way, I can talk from a non-threatening place of a problem everyone can agree on – being busy and overwhelmed. Then as we dig deeper, I build trust and demonstrate expertise, while gaining agreement through the process. It gets people nodding and we create a bond.
So today, what I would like you to do is quite easy. What is the ONE thing that you can tell your customers that they most likely would not have heard before? Perhaps a unique perspective you can share, a piece of information you did research on, or an intriguing solution to a common challenge they have.I never blame the customer for not buying my product, not returning my calls, or not giving me referrals. I simply say to myself:
“It’s not that they’re not interested, it’s that you’re not interesting.” – Joe Girard (to self)
As you can see, there are so many areas of your process and presentation you can work on, which is precisely why we are never done learning when we sell. And I don’t want to overwhelm you, so just choose one thing each day or month to work on.
The next lesson is all about preparation, goals, feedback loops, and getting into a sales flow. The main goal is to take all of this stuff you are learning and simplify how you will apply it.
And if you want help simplifying YOUR process, getting more customers, and having fun – connect with me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some related posts from my blog that go into more details on some of these ideas:
- 6 Reasons Why You Should Build Trust in Selling
- Insight Selling: Get Customers to Chase YOU
- [VIDEO] SPIN Selling Explained: Asking Awesome Sales Questions
- Learn a new skill each month [VIDEO]